Ethnographic Cli-fi in the 'New Pangea'
Blake P Kendall (Freie Universitat Berlin HKMW)
Pavel Boreck√Ĺ (University of Bern)
Examination Schools Room 15
Start time:
21 September, 2018 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel explores the employment of 'Fiction' and the 'Imagination' in ecological and environmental enquiries. Discursively rooted in experimentation with 'more-than-human' methods and modalities, we explore how materialist globalised systems are re-imagined.

Long abstract:

Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi), is heralded as an emerging genre of contemporary literary and filmic praxis, and substantiates interdisciplinary experimentation with Anthropology. In recognising the contentious distinctions of local and globalised environments, the abstraction of Climate Change and the 'Future(s) of Ecology' posits a challenge to anthropologists. Collective amnesia of a past, and imaginings of a future, foreshadows a materialist present. The emergence of the 'New Pangaea' (Rosenzweig 2001) reconstitutes a comprehension of the 'causality' within the global ecosystems, transitioning from a Darwinian order of 'adaptation,' into the methodological framework of tracking the biological schisms of the Anthropocene.

In response, this panel investigates the employment of 'Fiction' as an ethnographic method and as a mode of representation in Ethnographies of Ecology. With a particular focus on 'more-than-human' and 'non-human' anthropologies, biological and mediated frameworks transition from the Cartesian dualism (of human & nature) into fractured narratives of multivocality and polyphonic qualities. It is through formic innovation and 'aesthetics' that the very confines of knowledge production, haunting such enquiries, are overcome; as witnessed with the development of interdisciplinary relations with arts and natural sciences, and the experimentation of audio-visual / sensory ethnography.

This panel posits the 'promise' of innovative and experimental modalities of the New Pangea Ecosystems and seeks to scrutinise the mutual dichotomy of materiality and the imagination. Does 'fictionality' of informant's engagement and comprehension of broader ecology substantiate an insight into an empirical 'now'?